Page 1

Fall 2011

Bastrop Fire Relief 1st Air Cavalry News Serving Homeless Veterans Mid-Winter Convention Patriot Day Celebrations

TEXAS VFW NEWS — 1ST PLACE WINNER 2010 National Publications Contest


RVOS

INSURANCE “Neighbors Helping Neighbors”

Supporting Our Veterans

Insuring Texas Homes, Farms, and Ranches Since 1901

k 1-800-507-2174 RVOS.com


CONTENTS

The official publication of the Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars

www.texasvfw.org

Bastrop Fire Relief Efforts, page 6 Texas VFW Posts 8787 and 8925 provide much needed relief for the Bastrop fire evacuees.

Homeless Veteran Stand Down 2011, page 17 Texas VFW District 28 held its annual Homeless Veterans Stand Down on October 21, 2011.

Serving Veterans Since 1899

What Does The Texas VFW Offer You? Camaraderie with fellow Veterans • Community Networking & Involvement • Remembrance Programs • Full time support of today’s service members • Programs for families and youth • Full Time Watchdog on Capitol Hill & at the Texas Legislature • Free representation in VA claims • An award-winning magazine Contributions: Letters, manuscripts, stories, materials, or photographs are welcomed but cannot be returned unless sender provides SASE. Texas VFW News will not be responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos and drawings. Submission of articles and letters implies the right to edit and publish all or in part. Please send your comments, suggestions, ideas and Post activities to: Texas VFW P.O. Box 14468 Austin, Texas 78761 or by email to dan@texasvfw.org Opinions expressed herein are those of the writers and are not to be construed as those of the publisher nor as official views of the Texas VFW, the National VFW or any of its agencies, unless otherwise made manifest by writers or spokespersons acting on behalf of the foregoing. Advertising of products and services herein does not imply endorsement or approval of the Texas VFW. Advertising is accepted on the premise that the merchandise and services are accurately described. Ads that contain fraudulent, deceptive or misleading statements or illustrations, or in the opinion of the Texas VFW News may be offensive, are not knowingly accepted. If you encounter noncompliance, please tell us. For Information Regarding: Unit reunions, general orders, taps, seeking, District Meetings and other topics please visit www.texasvfw.org.

In the News

4 Commander’s Column 5 Caring in the Community 8 Covey Trails “Fly In” 9 Eagle Scout Court of Honor/Honor Guard 10 VA Policy for Female Veterans 11 Traumatic Injury Benefits/Drivers License 12 1st Cavalry Division News 13 VFW 100th Anniversary Pistol Raffle 14 Homeless Veterans Buried with Dignity 15 Texas VFW Foundation 16 Membership Application 18 Texas VFW Gear 19 Texas VFW Accessories 20 VJ Day Events/Korean Armistice Events 21 Patriot Day Events 22 POW/MIA Events/VFW Day Events 24 State Commanders Ride 25 Video Clip for Post 8878/Flag Day Back Cover Patriot Day Remembrance

Upcoming Events 23 Mid-Winter Convention Join us on facebook for up-to-date information, photos of VFW events and breaking news relevant to Veterans.

Fall 2011

ABOUT THE COVER Texas VFW District 4 Commander Inge Conely and State Sr. Vice Commander Larry Velasquez visit with former Vietnam POW Thomas Curtis at the City of Houston 2011 POW/MIA ceremony.

Bastrop Fire relief 1st air cavalry News serving Homeless Veterans

Mid-Winter convention Patriot Day celebration s Periodicals

Texas VFW NeWs — 1sT Place WiNNe r 2010 National Publica tions Contest

Texas VFW Fall 2011

3


STATE COMMANDER’S COLUMN

Just who are we anyway?

The Official Publication of the Department of Texas, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. Texas VFW News (USPS 008-177). Periodicals Postage Paid at Austin, Texas and additional mailing offices. Subscription price of $20.00. Published Quarterly by the Department of Texas, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S., 8503 North IH-35, Austin, Texas 78753

We are finished with the first quarter of this VFW year and, to me, it has become very evident just who we are. We are, of course, a veterans’ organization. But more than that, we are a veterans’ organization filled with pride - pride in our service to our nation and pride in the accomplishments of the VFW. More than that, we should also take great pride in simply recognizing the type of people we are.

Volume LXVI, Number 2, © November 2011. All rights reserved. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Circulation Dept., VFW, 406 W. 34th St., Kansas City, MO 64111. Members Change of Address: Forward address changes to: Data Entry, VFW, 406 W. 34th St., Kansas City, MO 64111. Be sure to furnish your old address, also your Post number, when requesting change to new address. To ensure accuracy, please clip and enclose your present address as printed on a recent copy of the Texas VFW News magazine.

We are a patriotic people, filled with a pride and love of our nation that the majority of the nation simply can’t match or understand. Part of our activities involve the observance of various historic dates during which we pay solemn tribute to the events that are being observed and their impact on our nation. I had the honor of attending the 911 ceremony in Katy this year. It was a very moving and meaningful ceremony conducted expertly by the members of Post 9182 and was a perfect example of the patriotism of the VFW. We are a compassionate and generous people. Recently, a number of our members were affected by catastrophic fires around Texas. Indeed, many of them lost their homes and their possessions. Immediately after the call went out, other VFW members and Posts responded with monetary donations and supplies for those affected. Over $46,000 in donations was received for our members who suffered in the fires. This was matched by the Department of Texas and the National organization and showed that we take care of our own. This is what Pride is made of. We are a organization that recognizes the true importance of our families through our Ladies’ and Men’s Auxiliaries. I consider it a great honor to serve this year with Ladies’ Auxiliary President Sharon Helton. Sharon is a wonderful lady who is dedicated toward leading the Ladies Auxiliary in caring for our veterans. I encourage every post to work closely with our strongest allies, our auxiliaries. We are a reverent people who defend the core values of our country. Our meeting ritual includes at least three prayers and we are quick to stand up in defense whenever our rights to express our religious beliefs are threatened. In May, the VA cemetery in Houston mounted an attack on those rights and the VFW, as well as several others, immediately took action. With great assistance from our friends at the Liberty Institute, I am pleased to say that all matters of contention between the VA and the VFW have been agreed to and a positive outcome is on the way. As we enter the second quarter, there is still much to be done. My biggest priority this year is to bolster our membership. We are currently 16,000 members away from maintaining our strength from last year. Why is this important? As you are probably aware, the VFW is one of the largest and most effective forces in Washington when it comes to protecting the hard earned benefits for our veterans and for our troops and their families. Recently, there has been discussion in Congress about reducing or even removing some of those benefits. If our numbers continue to decline, our effectiveness in protecting those benefits will decline as well. Therefore, for each of us and for every United States military veteran, we must strive to increase our membership. This involves nothing more than every member asking another eligible veteran to become a part of the VFW. We have countless opportunities to do this every day, Now is the time to take those opportunities and use them to strengthen our organization. Continued on p. 14

4

Texas VFW Fall 2011

Advertisers: Electronic Media Kit available at www.texasvfw.org, or request a printed Media Kit at dan@texasvfw.org.

Roy Grona . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Editor Dan West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Assistant Editor www.medianation.net . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Graphic Design DEPARTMENT HEADQUARTERS........................................ (512) 834-8535

2011-2012 DEPARTMENT OFFICERS Commander John Spahr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8787 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 14468 Austin, TX 78761 Sr Vice Larry Velasquez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2397 . . . . . . . . . . 4829 Golden Eye, Corpus Christi, TX 78413 Jr Vice Sylvia Sanchez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8936 . . . . . . . . 1906 Ashprington Dr. San Antonio, TX 78251 Adj/Qm Roy Grona . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3377 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 14468 Austin, TX 78761 Judge Advocate Ken Burton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9182 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 14468 Austin, TX 78761 Surgeon Doc Howard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3359 . . . . . . . . . . . 2517 Golden Oaks Dr., Garland, TX 75044 Chaplain Bob Dickerson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2451 . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 341136, San Antonio, TX 78234 Chief Of Staff Harry Munn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 202 Hewitt, TX 76643 Inspector Larry Konarik . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8587 . . . . . . . 200 Clear Springs Rd., Georgetown, TX 78628 Immediate Past Commander Wayne Depute . . 6378 . . . . . . . . . . . . 324 Windward Dr. League City, TX 77573 Council Member Al Cantu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2397 . . . . . . . . . . . 4009 Tripoli Dr., Corpus Christi, TX 78411 Asst Adj Dan West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3413 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 14468 Austin, TX 78761 Asst Qm Carlos Sustaita . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8787 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 14468, Austin, TX 78761 Deputy Inspector John Lozanski . . . . . . . . . . . . 5076 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1215 Cedar Ridge Rd, Heath, TX 75032 Deputy Inspector Larry Hume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8904 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 1024 Center, TX 75935 Deputy Inspector Bruce Alford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9174 . . . . . . . . . . . . 6130 Ridge Oak, San Antonio, TX 78250 Deputy Inspector Richard “Dick” Prewett . . . . . 8932 . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 18473 Corpus Christi, TX 78430 Deputy Inspector C.W. “Pete” Kinson . . . . . . . . 9299 . . . . . . . . . . 400 Sw Gordon #417, Burleson, TX 76028 Deputy Inspector Joe Vargas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9173 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10436 Tomwood, El Paso, TX 79925 Officer Of The Day Lonnie Garza . . . . . . . . . . . . 3413 . . . . . . . . . . 1769 Jacobs Ct, New Braunfels, TX 78130

DEPARTMENT VETERANS COUNSELORS Service Officer/Waco Sandra Covin . . . . . 6008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 701 Clay St., Waco, TX 76799 Service Officer/Houston Julio Harros . . . 3413 . . . . . . . 6900 Almeda Road, Houston, TX 77030

2011-2012 DISTRICT COMMANDERS James Blaine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7875 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3011 Cr 2730, Honey Grove, TX 75446 Robert Lafleur . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2775 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3528 Whippoorwill, Orange, TX 77630 Lary Harrington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8627 . . . . . . . . . . 1007 Green Meadow Dr., Richardson, TX 75081 Ingeborg “Inge” Conley . . . . . . . . . . 12075 . . . . . . . . . . . 17411 Ebeys Landing Lane, Humble, TX 77346 Keith Foley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12058 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Po Box 14468, Austin, TX 78761 Francisco “Frank” Garcia . . . . . . . . . . 8932 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Po Box 4333, Corpus Christi, TX 78469 Ralph Rodriguez, Jr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6873 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Po Box 113, Clyde, TX 79510 Lilly Harwell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2512 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Po Box 34, Childress, TX 79201 Rodney “Rod” Raulston . . . . . . . . . . . 8919 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3901 Mcconnel, El Paso, TX 79904 Terry Rowe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8560 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6668 Cr 1100, Sulphur Springs, TX 75482 Daniel M. Hinojosa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8134 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 305 Cr 678 E., Natalia, TX 78059 William “Bill” Mcmenomey . . . . . . . . 4008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Po Box 188, Kempner, TX 76539 James Mansfield . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8878 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Lackland Cr, Wichita Falls, TX 76306 Glenn James . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8551 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235 Primrose, Freeport, TX 77541 Norman Macey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4816 . . . . . . . . . . . . 16907 Caldwell Pointe Ct.., Humble, TX 77346 Ricardo “Rick” Ramirez . . . . . . . . . . . 8788 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 416 E. Water Lily, Mcallen, TX 78504 Don Kirkley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3893 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Po Box 632190, Nacogdoches, TX 75963 Antonio Vasquez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 . . . . . . . . . . 2441 Ne Loop 410 #510, San Antonio, TX 78217 James Van Rite . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4695 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5011 Buffalo Ct N, Fort Worth, TX 76119 Jeff Steele . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6290 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 707 Huisache St., Refugio, TX 78377 Melvin “Mel” Parker . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6284 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5305 Clinton, Odessa, TX 79762 E.J. “Tex” Kennedy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8925 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1797 A Fm 812, Cedar Creek, TX 78612 James Gunter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5872 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 Talford St., Fairfield, TX 75840 Paul Wilbanks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7103 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1300 La Acres, Athens, TX 75752


C o m m u n i t y

S e r v i c e

KOREAN WAR MIA IS HONORED

Members and guests of Texas VFW Post 8936, San Antonio gathered to honor local MIA Cpl Luis P. Torres.  Texas VFW Post 880, Galveston, Texas VFW District 20, San Antonio — of District 20 represented the Texas VFW and collected funds Gives Generous Scholarship Donation Members for the Bastrop Fires Veteran Victims Fund at the Family Readiness 

Local student, Mary Salazar,  is attending Houston Community College.

Group Team Huddle and Change of Command Event in September.

Texas VFW Post 6974, Burnet —  Mike Greco recently attended local schools promoting the importance of community service and to bring awareness to Texas VFW scholarship opportunities to local students.

Texas VFW Fall 2011

5


C o m m u n i t y

S e r v i c e

Bastrop Fire Relief Texas VFW Posts 8787 & 8925 AUSTIN, TEXAS VFW POST 8787 donated over 30 cases of water, toys, toiletries and food today for the Bastrop Fire relief effort over Labor Day weekend. The water, toys and toiletries were delivered to the Pilot Knob, Texas VFW Post 8925 to support families who were evacuated due to the Bastrop fire or other fires in central Texas. Both VFW Posts 8787 and 8925 and their Auxiliary members worked together to make individual toilet kits for shelter residents. The extra food donated by the VFW 8787 Labor Day celebration, along with several cases of bottled water was delivered to Primera Baptist Church in Bastrop. This church was designated as a local shelter and was preparing to receive 20 families. The food that was delivered was being eaten as quickly as it was unloaded. We wish to thank everyone involved in making this donation possible.

Over 146 Posts, VFW and Auxiliary members from across the state made donations totaling over $46,000 that was matched by National and then by Department.

Veterans from Texas VFW Posts 8925 and 8787, together with their Ladies Auxiliary members, prepare Toy bags and toiletry bags for fire evacuees. Background Photo by Staff Sgt. Malcolm McClendon

6

Texas VFW Fall 2011

Ron and Barbara McDavid coordinated relief efforts, donations and deliveries. Texas VFW Post 8787 members box and load donated supplies.

Donated supplies being unloaded at Texas VFW 8925.


C o m m u n i t y

S e r v i c e

THANK YOU FROM TEXAS VFW POST 12104 The Officers and members of Texas VFW Post 12104 Bastrop send thanks to VFW National, State and District 28 as well as to all those Posts and individuals who made donations of time and money. These efforts helped 32 members of the Post who lost their homes and all possessions as well as the 12 who evacuated with only the clothes on their back. The VFW is truly a great organization that looks after its own members in times of adversity and our sincere thanks and may God bless each and every one of you who helped and donated.

TEXAS VFW POST 12104 GRAND RE-OPENING ON SEPTEMBER 4, 2011 Texas VFW Post 12104 was caught in the middle of the Bastrop County wildfires. Twenty eight of our post members were affected. The Post’s shed which held most of our equipment burned to the ground. The post itself was very fortunate — only minor damage occurred to the building. With the help of our members and volunteers, our post was cleaned and painted. On October 15, 2011 our post held its “Grand Re-opening.” Department of Texas Commander and the Ladies Auxiliary President were in attendance, as were many VFW Officers. An American flag and Texas flag were raised. Commander Morales and Frances Tello, mother of Joaquin R. Tello, cut the ribbon. Everyone enjoyed food provided by Ladies Auxiliary, and music and festivities continued throughout the day.

Texas VFW Fall 2011

7


C o m m u n i t y

I n v o l v e m e n t

TEXAS VFW POST 9182 ATTENDS COVEY TRAILS “FLY IN” Special recognition given to Gold Star Mothers THE ANNUAL PATRIOTIC “FLY IN” at the Covey Trails subdivision, where residents share a runway and have private hangers for their planes, was held on Saturday, October 18, 2011. The American flag was raised by the honor guard members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9182 of Katy, Texas. The Covey Trails neighborhood Association provided special recognition and flowers to four Gold Star Mothers who have lost a son or daughter in current conflicts. The Gold Star Mothers and VFW members were treated to a Bar-B-Que following the event.

8

Texas VFW Fall 2011

Gold Star Mothers received flowers from VFW Post 9182 Ladies Auxiliary at Covey Trails.

Col (Ret) Peyton Lumpkin, District 17 Junior Vice Commander; Col (Ret) Mike Mastrangelo, Commander VFW Post 9182, VFW Post 9182 members at flagpole: Arthur Shaw, Officer of the Day;  Jose Perez, US Army Active Duty and Amy Lee, VFW Public Information Officer


C o m m u n i t y

I n v o l v e m e n t

TEXAS VFW POST 688, BOERNE, ATTENDS EAGLE SCOUT COURT OF HONOR Post Commander Dave Judson presented Certificates of Recognition ON 21 AUGUST, four members of Post 688, Boerne, Texas participated in an Eagle Scout Court of Honor at the Fair Oaks Ranch Country Club. Post Commander Dave Judson presented the VFW Certificate of Recognition to Nick Peacock, Sam Kolling and Bob Lucas. Assisting Commander Judson was past All-American Post Commander Chuck Allen.  Approximately 100 people attended the ceremony and listened intently as MG Del Eulberg, USAF, Retired gave the  Keynote Address.    

Front row: Nick Peacock, Sam Kolling, Bob Lucas Back row: Bob Worrall, Chuck Allen, Commander Judson, Sr. Vice Cmdr Mike Nichols.

TEXAS VFW POST 8904, CENTER, HONOR GUARD

Left to Right: Post Chaplain and Bugler James Johnson, Post member Bill Gray, Post Commander John Piersol, Post Quartermaster Larry Hume, Post Services Officer Myron Bounds, Post Sr. Vice Newton Johnson, Jr. and Adjutant Mike Langford. Texas VFW Fall 2011

9


M i l i t a r y

N e w s

NEW VA POLICY FOCUSED ON FEMALE VETERANS THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS has launched a new policy aimed at changing the perception of women’s role in combat and as Veterans, both within the department and with the general public. In doing so, VA hopes the public is more understanding of female Veterans’ needs when they return from overseas. “When these brave women complete their service and become Veterans, we want them to know that VA is there to meet their health care needs,” Dr. Patricia Hayes, Chief Consultant of the VA’s Women Veterans Health Strategic Health Care Group, said in a statement. “At the same time, we want the public to recognize the contributions of women Veterans and the benefits they have earned through their service to the Nation.” In particular, the policy recognizes that more women than ever are being exposed to combat, as “there are no traditional ‘front lines’ in the current wars.” VA hopes that changing the public’s perceptions of women Veterans will ensure that they are given proper mental and physical health care that addresses their particular war experience. According to the VA, the number of women Veterans using VA facilities has increased from 160,000 in 2000 to 315,000 in 2010. More than half of the female Veterans using VA healthcare has a serviceconnected disability.

10

Texas VFW Fall 2011


M i l i t a r y

RETROACTIVE TRAUMATIC INJURY BENEFITS NO LONGER JUST FOR OEF/OIF INJURIES TSGLI payments will be made for qualifying injuries WASHINGTON — THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (VA) is extending retroactive traumatic injury benefits to Servicemembers who suffered qualifying injuries during the period Oct. 7, 2001 to Nov. 30, 2005, regardless of the geographic location where the injuries occurred. “Now all of our nation’s Servicemembers who suffered severe traumatic injuries while serving their country can receive the same traumatic injury benefits, regardless of where their injury occurred,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “We at VA appreciate the efforts of Congress and the President to improve benefits for our troops.” Effective Oct. 1, the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) Traumatic Injury Protection benefit, known as TSGLI, will be payable for all qualifying injuries incurred during this period. This retroactive benefit is payable whether or not the Servicemember had SGLI coverage at the time of the injury. The Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2010, passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in October of 2010, removes the requirement that injuries during this period be incurred in Operations Enduring or Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF). This is welcome news for the many Servicemembers who suffered serious traumatic injuries while serving stateside or in other areas outside of OEF/OIF during this time period, but until now have not been eligible for TSGLI. TSGLI provides a payment ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 to Servicemembers sustaining certain severe traumatic injuries resulting in a range of losses, including amputations; limb salvage; paralysis; burns; loss of sight, hearing or speech; facial reconstruction; 15-day continuous hospitalization; coma; and loss of activities of daily living due to traumatic brain injury or other traumatic injuries. National Guard and Reserve members who were injured during the retroactive period and suffered a qualifying loss are also eligible for a TSGLI payment, even if the cause was not related to military service, such as a civilian automobile accident or severe injury which occurred while working around their home. National Guard and Reserve members make up more than 40 percent of the total force which has been deployed since 9-11. Those who are no longer in the National Guard or Reserves can also apply as long as their injury occurred while they were in service. “I am extremely pleased that these total force warriors who defend our freedoms are getting the recognition and benefits they have rightfully earned in service to our nation,” added Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey. VA is working with the Department of Defense to publicize this change in the TSGLI law. Additionally, all of the branches of service are identifying any claims previously denied because the injury was not incurred in OEF/OIF and reaching out to those individuals. Although applications are currently being accepted by branch of service TSGLI offices, benefits will not be paid until Oct. 1, 2011, the effective date of the law. For more information or to apply for a TSGLI payment, Servicemembers and Veterans should go to http://www.insurance.va.gov/sgliSite/TSGLI/TSGLI.htm or contact their branch of service TSGLI Office (contact information available at above link).

N e w s

REP. ISAAC PASSES LEGISLATION FOR VETERANS DRIVERS LICENSE AUSTIN, TX — DURING THE 82ND LEGISLATIVE SESSION, Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) was successful in passing legislation that will allow veterans to add an endorsement to their Texas driver’s license.  House Bill 1514 will help honorably discharged veterans of the United States Armed Forces more easily prove their status. Rep. Isaac commented, “I have many veterans in my family, and it was recently brought to my attention that they often must carry their discharge form (DD-214) with them at all times in order to prove their status. Many businesses, organizations, and events provide certain benefits to this honorable group of citizens and it seems unnecessary that this cumbersome form is the only proof of service that they currently have.  Adding a small endorsement to a veteran›s driver’s license is a common sense solution to this issue.” The bill take effect on September 1st, but because the Department of Public Safety (DPS) will need to establish and approve rules as well as develop software for the new license, it may not be available until several months later.  DPS is already working on the implementation of the bill and veterans across the state are welcome to call Rep. Isaac›s office or request to join his email newsletter list for updates on the progress of the license.  When the development is complete, veterans will simply have to present proof of honorable service at the DPS office when they renew their license in order to have the endorsement added.  Rep. Isaac continued, “My hope is that this will not only make day to day life more convenient for veterans, but also cut down on instances of fraud in which non-veterans seek benefits reserved for those who have bravely served our country. Although no license, tax exemption, or benefit can ever repay the debt owed to our veterans, I hope these efforts are a small token of appreciation for their service.” Texas VFW Fall 2011

11


M i l i t a r y

N e w s

TASK FORCE SPEARHEAD COOKS EXCEL, PROVIDE GOOD FOOD IN AUSTERE CONDITIONS 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division

Story by Sgt. Richard Wrigley

WHEN THREE SOLDIERS, all food operations specialists from Task Force Spearhead, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, were placed at a remote forward operating base in western Afghanistan, they were asked to simply perform to standard. They have done more than that though. They have excelled. “Most cooks come out here and supervise contractors who do the cooking, but these soldiers are actually getting to cook the food themselves; and the pride and care they take in doing that is shown by how much the troops out there love them,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Pitkus, a native of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., command sergeant major for TF Spearhead, 1st ACB. When the cooks arrived at Forward Operating Base Todd, the cooking conditions were less than desirable, said Staff Sgt. Rhonda Rivers, a native of Shreveport, La., and the noncommissioned officer in charge of the food operations at FOB Todd for TF Spearhead, 1st ACB. Not only did they face the challenge of cooking the food that gets air-dropped in to them, they had to build some of their own facilities, renovating the dining and dry food storage areas, as well as acquiring a new cold-storage area, something they did not have when they got there, said Rivers. Working 12 plus-hour days and feeding approximately 120 people a day with a cooking staff of three, the cooks at FOB Todd do indeed take pride in their job. “We actually cook meals [out here],” said Rivers. “Nowadays, when a [cook] goes out to a field environment like this, you’ll see them cooking [Unitized Group Ration - A Options], which is basically boiling a bag. We don’t do that. We are actually cooking the food from scratch,” said Rivers. “The troops love it,” Rivers added with a smile. Speaking under anonymity due to the secretive nature of his job, one trooper said he spoke for many when he exclaimed how happy they were with the cook’s service. “They do so much with so little, and take care of us so well, they really do a great job for all of us and we really appreciate it,” he said.

1ST AIR CAVALRY DIVISION SOLDIER RECEIVES THE DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS

12

CAPT. JONATHAN MULDER, company commander, Company D, Task Force Lobos, 1st Air Cavalry Division, originally from South Holland, Illinois, is awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross during a ceremony Sept. 11. On the night of April 25, 2010, while assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, Mulder was the air mission commander for an operation conducted in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Mulder, while piloting a MH-47G Chinook helicopter, coordinated the rescue of another aircraft after it was critically damaged from enemy fire, while his aircraft simultaneously took heavy enemy machine gun and rocket-propelled grenade fire from numerous locations, according to the award’s citation. Brig. Gen. Sean Mulholland, deputy commander, Regional Command North, presented Mulder with the award. Texas VFW Fall 2011


Texas VFW Fall 2011

13


C o m m u n i t y

I n v o l v e m e n t

HOMELESS VETERANS STATE COMMANDER’S COLUMN (CONT.) BURIED WITH HONOR Just who are we anyway? AND DIGNITY Since becoming State Commander in July, I have noticed several posts that Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio, Texas

(Photos by Henry I Gonzales)

“The Dignity Memorial Homeless Veterans Burial Program is a cooperative effort designed to ensure that veterans who are homeless, indigent and have no family receive the honors in death that their service in life merited,” said Todd Henderson, a funeral director at Roy Akers and chairman of the program in San Antonio. “We’re honored to be able to give Mr. McNeair and Ms. Luster the dignified military services they deserve,” he said. Through the program, Dignity Memorial funeral and cemetery providers provide preparation of the body, transportation, clothing, casket and coordination of the funeral service. Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery will provide the opening and closing of the gravesite, a grave liner, a headstone or marker and the graveside ceremony. Approximately 80 men and women from Texas VFW District 20, DAV. Marine League, Air Force, Navy, and Army personnel attended the homeless veteran burial ceremony held earlier this year. In attendance were State Jr. Vice Cmdr Sylvia C Sanchez, Past Dist 20 Cmdr Bruce Alford, Edward Torres, Joe Rivera (Current D-20 Staff), Post 9603 Cmds Lowell Mix, Past Cmdr Carroll Hendrix, Charter Cmdr Henry Gonzales, J.R. Garza (DAV Cmdr).

ELECT LEE DERBY State Jr. Vice Commander

I was born in San Antonio, TX and graduated from Texas Military Institute also in San Antonio. I served in the United States Air Force from 1962 to 1973 with foreign service in Turkey and Vietnam where I received several military awards and citations. I have a BA Degree in English and a Masters in Sociology and History. I am now retired and devote most of my time to community activities, especially those involving our veterans, the homeless and schools, i.e. speaking and scholarships. I enjoy traveling, fishing, woodworking, writing and research. I am a Gold Legacy Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and have held several positions at the National and The Department of Texas levels. I am also a Life Member of the Vietnam Veterans of America, the Disabled American Veterans and a member of the American Legion. My wife Doris and I live in Conroe, Texas.

14

Texas VFW Fall 2011

have become immersed in conflicts. I would remind each of us of the line in our ritual which reads, “Do not let petty jealousies or trivial personalities influence our deliberations.” In most cases, these conflicts are due to personality conflicts which are, for the most part, very small and petty. We have far too much to do this year to allow our posts to be bogged down in nonproductive arguing and complaining. If someone has a problem with another member, sit down and work it out like mature adults. In most cases, this will solve the problem and we can all get back to doing what we should be doing. Yes, there is much for us to do this year, but we can take pride in what we have accomplished so far. As our number of service projects continues to grow, we can show everyone the positive benefit that the VFW is to our community. As we invite the public to our Veteran Projects, we can show everyone the type of organization we are. As we bring in more and more new members, we can allow them to experience the pride in being part of, what I feel, is the greatest military veterans’ organization in the world; the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States!


Texas VFW Foundation

“I would really like to thank everyone involved with the Texas VFW Foundation, the grant made my life a lot better.” 

Patrick Hewitt, U.S. Navy Veteran

“I wanted to thank you all for your assistance with my rent. You know, “thank you” is not big enough to describe how I felt when

the check arrived, it just does not say enough but that’s the only word we have to show appreciation for what was done for us.” 

Keith Bayne, U.S. Navy Veteran

“First off let me say “thank you.” The assistance was so right on

time. I am proud to have served my country in the Navy and now I will hold the same pride as a VFW member.” 

Gabriel Freeman, U.S. Navy Veteran

Your small donation makes a big difference.

We also need to add that “If you are an Austin Energy Customer we may have a discount program for you, call to find out more information.

• The Texas VFW Foundation Veterans Assistance Program is available to any Texas veteran with an honorable discharge regardless of where or what time they served. • Funds for this program come from individual donations from veterans and veteran supporters like yourself, and from charitable foundations. • The Veterans Assistance Program is not an entitlement program and not all veterans who apply will receive a financial grant and those awarded a grant will not directly receive any funds.

• The applicant will have to work with a Service Officer from a Federal, State or Veterans Service Organization or with their local military command if still in the military before application can be processed. • Applications can be found at the Featured Links section on the Texas VFW Web Site www.texasvfw.org or by emailing the Foundation at foundation@texasvfw.org or by calling 1-800-997-7096.

Texas VFW Fall 2011

15


Yes, I am a war veteran and want to continue my Legacy of Service to America. Please fill out the VFW Membership Application below and mail in, or sign up online at www.texasvfw.org > About > Membership and follow link.

Lobbying for Veterans & Military Providing Disaster Relief Name: _________________________________________________Email: _________________________________________ Community Volunteerism First Middle Last (Suffix – Sr., Jr., etc.) Funding College Scholarships Address:____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Phone Cards for Troops Supporting Youth Groups City:______________________________ State:____________ Zip:______________ Phone:____________________________ Emergency Financial Assistance Date of Birth: _____________________________ (MM/DD/YYYY) Supporting Memorials Assisting Veterans with Earned Entitlements

Military Service: p Army Current Status: I served in:

p Air Force

p Coast Guard

p Navy

p Marines

p Active Duty p Veteran p National Guard/Reserve p Pre-World War II p Korean War 1950-54 p Desert Shield/Storm p Afghanistan 2001 p World War II p Korea 1955 p Bosnia/Kosovo 1995 p Iraq 2003 p WW II Occupation p Vietnam 1958-75 p Global War on Terrorism – Expeditionary 2001 p 1945-55 (Europe, Korea, Japan) p Expeditionary Operations 1958-2003 (Thailand, Grenada, Libya, Panama, Haiti, Somalia, etc.) p 1945-90 (Berlin)

Qualified recipient of: p Imminent Danger/Hostile Fire Pay

p *SSBN Nuclear Deterrent Patrol*

*Period Covered: ______________________________________ (Required for applicants with no other reported qualifying service). I would like to join the Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars as a: p Annual Member ($35)

p Life Member*

p Life 12 Mo. Install* ($35 Initial payment)

Life Membership Fee Schedule Attained age on 12/31

Through age 30 31 – 40 41 – 50 51 – 60 61 – 70 71 – 80 81 and over

One Time Payment

Life 12 Month Payment Plan

$425.00 $410.00 $375.00 $335.00 $290.00 $225.00 $170.00

$40.39 $39.02 $35.84 $32.20 $28.11 $22.20 $17.20

Installment Payment Plan Terms and Conditions: The VFW Life Membership installment plan allows any VFW member/applicant to purchase a Life Membership by making either 11 or 23 monthly installments after an initial payment of $35.00. The member/applicant will be issued a “Provisional Life” membership card and can elect, upon receipt of first monthly invoice, to pay via check, credit card or ACH Debit. The monthly fee (Shown in the payment schedule above) includes a $1.75 monthly service fee. The applicable Life Membership fee is to be determined from the schedule using the applicants age on December 31 of the installment plan year in which the application is submitted, regardless of actual date of birth. A permanent Life Membership card will be issued upon completion of this agreement. No refund of any portion of current year annual dues will be made. A “Payoff amount” will be printed on each monthly invoice, allowing the member the option to pay in full at anytime during the installment plan, thereby avoiding additional service fees. If the member pays off early, no additional monies will be collected.

I attest by forwarding this application that I am a citizen of the United States, that I qualify for the VFW and that my Campaign Service was honorable, and that I have never been discharged under other than honorable conditions or I am still serving honorably in the armed forces of the United States of America. I further give authority to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States to verify my entitlement to membership in the VFW and that if no proof can be found or provided that I am subject to discharge from the VFW without refund. Signature:___________________________________________________________________Date: ______________________________________________ Include membership payment by check or money order (DO NOT SEND CASH) or pay by credit card.

p Mastercard p Visa p Discover p American Express

Credit Card Number:_________________________________________________________

Exp. Date: ____ ____/____ ____ $_____________________ Mail to: Texas VFW • P.O. Box 14468 • Austin, Texas 78761

For questions call: (512) 834-8535


C o m m u n i t y

S e r v i c e

HOMELESS VETERANS STAND DOWN 2011 STAND DOWNS are typically one to three day events providing services to homeless veterans such as food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, VA and Social Security benefits counseling, and referrals to a variety of other necessary services, such as housing, employment and substance abuse treatment. Stand Downs are collaborative events, coordinated between local VAs, other government agencies, and community agencies who serve the homeless. The first Stand Down was organized in 1988 by a group of Vietnam veterans in San Diego. Since then, Stand Downs have been used as an effective tool in reaching out to homeless veterans, reaching more than 200,000 veterans and their family members between 1994-2000. Texas VFW District 28 held its annual Homeless Veterans Stand Down on October 21, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Texas VFW Post 856 located in Austin, Texas. Many volunteers and service providers participated. Homeless veterans were given clothing, shoes and toiletries. Free haircuts were provided. In addition, health care professionals provided health screenings and immunizations. A delicious lunch was provided to both homeless veterans and volunteers and everyone agreed it was a very rewarding experience. To find out how you can get involved, please visit www.texasvfw.org.

The homeless stand down was made financially possible by VFW Members Ed Maycen, Mike Hobgood, Dave Adams motorcycle run.

Texas VFW Fall 2011

17


Get Your Official “Texas VFW” Gear Auxiliary Logos Now Available

Texas VFW Ball Cap — $16.00 Show your Texas Pride with a our new “Texas VFW” Ball Cap, complete with Texas VFW, Texas flag and your choice of emblem embroidered on the front. Available in White, Red and Blue: one size fits most. Imported.

Navy Polo Shirt with Pocket Texas VFW and your choice of emblem on right chest. 53% Cotton, 47% Microfiber, dri-balance performance material. Imported. VFW Logo Men’s pocket shirt – Stock #7942 VFW Logo Ladies’ no pocket shirt – Stock #7944 Men’s Aux Emblem – Stock #7948 Ladies Aux. Emblem No Pocket Shirt – Stock #7946 S-XL – $33.00 2XL – $34.50 3XL – $36.00 4XL – $38.00

VFW Emblem W7359 – White R7359 – Red B7359 – Blue VFW Ladies Aux. Emblem W7966 – White R7966 – Red B7966 – Blue VFW Men’s Aux. Emblem W7967 – White R7967 – Red B7967 – Blue

Caps & Shirts now available with Ladies and Mens Auxiliary Emblems!

Texas VFW Polo Shirt What better way to show off your Texas attitude than with a “Texas VFW” shirt. Made of 100% cotton knit with “Texas VFW” and your choice of emblem embroidered on left chest. Customized buttons with the five point Texas Star with Texas spelled out reminiscent of the first Texas flag known as the “Bonnie Blue” flag. Patriotic collar and sleeve cuffs with the Texas Flag image on left sleeve. Imported. VFW Emblem – Stock #7360 VFW Emblem Ladies Style – Stock #7361 Men’s Aux Emblem – Stock #7949 Ladies Aux Emblem & Style Shirt – Stock #7947 Price $35.00 for S-XL; 2XL Add $2.50; 3XL Add $4.50; 4XL Add $5.50. For custom embroidery options you can may up to 2 lines of text on the right chest for an additional $5.00.


THE OVERSEAS CAP WAS THE FIRST INTRODUCED IN WORLD WAR I AND IS AMERICA’S FIRST MILITARY UNIFORM ITEM DENOTING WAR TIME SERVICE.

Light weight style overseas cap with the Cross of Malta Emblem, letters VFW above the Post number and state name. Additional lettering is available at .88 per letter or numeral. No reduction in price if state name is abbreviated. *STATE AND POST NUMBER TO BE ON CAP. *SIZE 8 AND LARGER ADD $5.00. *FORT KNOX STYLE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST. *CAP MAY BE LETTERED WITH THE WORDS “VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS” for an additional $18.69; LIFE MEMBER embroidered for an additional $8.90; or a Life Member patch for an additional $2.55. Green, lightweight, shade51. Allow 8 weeks for manufacture except during April, May, June, & July. During these months allow 10 weeks.

V F W

Price: $32.95

1849 Texas VFW Men’s Bulova Quartz Medallion Watch

Price: $249.00 Note: If there is a need to exchange or return jewelry items, please contact the Supply Department for return authorization before doing so. Watches have, in the past few years, become very stylish and the factories change the appearance of them often. Therefore, the watch you receive may differ in appearance from our illustrations, but will be as good or better in quality.

TEXAS VFW Velour Throw

Beautiful, soft and  luxurious microfibre throw, with TEXAS VFW embroidered in corner. Machine washable for easy care. 100% polyester. 50” x 60”

1992 — $28.99

Limited Quantities! ORDER TODAY!

Light-weight, versatile jacket with TEXAS VFW and Cross of Malta laser etched on the left chest. Microfiber fleece, full-zip front, hidden zip side pockets,  draw-cord bottom.  Imported.

Texas VFW Fall 2011

A C C E S S O R I E S

Quality Bulova watch with date feature and two-tone silver and gold clasp band. Medallion VFW emblem on face with Texas VFW.

7356 – Navy Blue 7357 – Charcoal Gray $35.00 S-XL $37.00 2XL $39.00 3XL

T E X A S

M6251 Light Weight Members Cap, Gold Piping

19


C e l e b r a t i o n

&

R e m e m b r a n c e

VJ Day — Celebrations from Around the State Texas VFW Post 8904, Center —

Aux members Sharon Adams, Mary Fausett, Becky Yates (President), Farmers State Bank employee Misty Wilburn, Post QM Larry Hume, Aux Treasurer Theresa Hume, Americanism Chair Krystal Easley and member Sandy Risinger. Reenactment Kiss by Post 8904 Quartermaster Larry Hume and Aux Treasurer (wife) Theresa Hume.

Texas VFW Post 12075, Humble — Members placed wreaths at Humble Memorial and provided lunch for members and guests.

Korean Armistice Texas VFW Post 12058, Kyle — Members packed the house “standing room only” to participate in the post’s pot luck with guest speaker John Corzan, a Korean War veteran.

20

Texas VFW Fall 2011


C e l e b r a t i o n

&

R e m e m b r a n c e

Patriot Day — Remembering 9/11 Texas VFW Post 6380, Jasper — The Post

presented a Sept. 11 program on the Jasper County Courthouse Square. Hundreds of members of the community were present as well as three political members from state and national levels. A large acrylic flag was signed by the attendants and presented to the Jasper Historical Museum.

Texas VFW Post 4380, Plano — Post Commander poses with Girl Scout Lola, Pre-schooler Matthew, and Cub Scout JJ.

Texas VFW Post 9173, Smeltertown — Texas participated in a flag raising ceremony in honor of 9/11.

Texas VFW Post 6290, Refugio — The Post in conjunction with its local HEB sponsored a 9/11 event in the HEB parking lot. Many community members turned out for the event. There was food and music and a spirit of unity was had by all.

Texas VFW Post 12041, Lytle — The Post sponsored its 5th Annual Freedom Walk on September 10, 2011. This all-day event included food, vendors, music and a sunrise memorial service.

Texas VFW Post 9191, Killeen — Members pose with students and teachers of Clifton Park Elementary after the Patriots Day march.

Texas VFW Fall 2011

21


C e l e b r a t i o n

&

R e m e m b r a n c e

POW/MIA — Honoring and Remembering

Texas VFW Post 4695, Hurst — VFW and Auxiliary members

and District 21 Honor Guard participated in a “Table of Remembrance,” and reading by President Patty Reichman and Commander Jim Van Rite.

VFW Day — VFW Post Birthdays

Texas VFW Post 2195, Allen — Members celebrated their Post’s 112th Birthday with cake and camaraderie.

Texas VFW Post 3893, Nacogdoches — Members attended

a birthday celebration at Texas VFW Post 1836. Coffee, breakfast and birthday cake were served.

22

Texas VFW Fall 2011

Texas VFW Post 9182, Katy — Members pose

with Marianne Russell and her daughter Vicky next to a painting of Rick Russell, MIA, killed in action, April 26, 1972. When asked, what should we remember about Rick, Marianne said, “He was a dynamic, gung-ho kind of guy that loved to fly. He loved what he did.” He was the personification of the Air Force Airman during this era.

Texas VFW Post 856, Austin — Members and guests met at the Texas State Cemetery, at 11:00 a.m. to conduct services for its POW/MIA Recognition Day Program. After the program the VFW will sponsored a lunch for all.


STATE COMMANDERS RIDE PROCEEDS BENEFITED BASTROP FIRE RELIEF September 9, 2011

24

Texas VFW Fall 2011


POST 8878, WICHITA FALLS HOLD POW/MIA CEREMONY

Flag Day Texas VFW Post 2399, Mineral Wells — Organized flag retirement

ceremony which was performed by local girl scout and boy scout troops.

CLICKING ON ABOVE IMAGE WILL TAKE YOU TO THE ONLINE VIDEO LINK

Texas VFW Post 6522, Bellville — A flag

disposal ceremony in observance of Flag Day was held on June 14th at the American Legion Post home. Their Cub Scout Pack also participated.

Texas VFW Post 8787, Austin — Post members participated in a Flag

Day ceremony with local boy and girls scouts. Here, Ron McDavid, Post Jr. Vice., shows the scouts how to properly fold a flag.

Texas VFW Post 2033, Woodville — The Post in conjunction with

the Tyler County Judge observed Flag Day at the County Courthouse. There were patriotic speeches made by the County Judge and the Commander. Afterwards, their old flags were burned with honor. Pictured here is James Hale.

Texas VFW Fall 2011

25


Texas VFW Post 8904 Post QM Larry Hume and Boy Scout Kris Risinger standing with a memorial wreath in remembrance of 9/11.


2011 Fall Texas VFW Online Magazine  

The official newsletter of the Texas VFW.

Advertisement
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you